Jacob is a freshman at Swarthmore College. Watch his video on the complexities of language ideology here.
What's Different About Growing Up Albanian in the U.S.?
- My first informant was Irisa. Growing up in Albania, Irisa was only exposed to Albanian. Irisa and her family moved to the U.S. in 2008 when Irisa was 8 years old; this began Irisa's interactions with English.
- My second informant was Erika, born in the United States as the daughter of Albanian immigrants. Erika was exposed to Albanian and English at the same time.
While interviewing Irisa, she mentioned that English and Albanian are divided in terms of where she makes use of either language. Albanian is the language Irisa uses the majority of the time: when she is with her family, when she is with Albanian friends, and even when she is thinking, the language is Albanian. Just as a reminder, Irisa began learning English when she was 8 years old and put into English-based schooling. For her, English is reserved for school and communicating with friends that are not Albanian-speaking. As she shared with me, “I have a hard time expressing myself in contexts outside of school.”